Andrew Hoatson and Cameron Gudgeon playing for Australia at the Inas World Futsal Championship in France in October
It’s hard to know whether a couple of Canberra futsal players are more excited about representing Australia at the world championships in France – or the chance to eat snails while they’re there.
Andrew Hoatson and Cameron Gudgeon are part of the Australian team to play at the Inas World Futsal Championship in France in October.
Inas is the international federation for athletes with an intellectual disability. It’s the second time Hoatson has made an Australian team after travelling to Italy for last year’s Global Games, while it’s Gudgeon’s debut after only taking up the game this year.
Hoatson is the creative player known for his vision, while Gudgeon was described as the ”elastic man” for his athleticism.
Gudgeon has foetal alcohol syndrome and a mild form of cerebral palsy. The 18-year-old is the first Indigenous player to be picked in the Australian team and was excited about eating snails – the famous French delicacy.
”I’m looking forward to seeing how we play as a team and representing Australia,” Gudgeon said.
”I’m looking forward to seeing how tall [the Eiffel Tower] actually is … [and I'm also looking forward] to seeing how good our bonds are with the other players.”
Top level sport is nothing new for Hoatson.
Not only will it be his second trip away with the Australian futsal team, but he’s also stood out in tennis and basketball.
He won gold medals in singles and doubles at the 2008 Special Olympics Australia Junior National Games in Canberra, as well as captaining the ACT basketball team at the 2008 Pacific School Games.
Hoatson, 19, was born with cerebral palsy and Gudgeon described him as the playmaker of the team.
”He’s a good passer and seems to know when people are there,” Gudgeon said.